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machine brains

Jim Balter jqb at sandpiper.com
Thu Sep 18 03:05:11 EST 1997

ray scanlon wrote:
> Jim Balter <jqb at sandpiper.com> wrote in article
> <01bcc30c$063212a0$e17a61ce at asdf>...
> > ray scanlon wrote:
> >
> > > I will not be inhibited by some word merchant saying, "Category
> > > error".
> >
> > The burden is to rebut *specific* charges of category error,
> > not to respond to straw men or engage in ad hominems
> > (such as that a charge of "category error" isn't valid
> > when made by a "word merchant").
> I am afraid that I did not make myself clear. The question is not
> whether the charge of 'category error' is valid or invalid. The
> question is whether someone who is involved in a serious investigation
> of the brain has time to play with that charge. The people who say
> 'category error' tend to be people who mistake words for reality. I
> name them 'word merchants'.

Yes, you have made yourself very clear by compounding the ad hominem.
If we are going to talk in ad hominem terms about which people make
certain claims, perhaps actually the people who make "category error"
claims tend to be those who are able to note certain complex conceptual
confusions, and those who refer to them as "word merchants" tend to
be those with less capability to think deeply.

But of course there is a problem with talking in those terms.

So, getting away from who does or does not wear army boots or
who does or does not mistake a titmouse for a whipporwil,
perhaps you can explain what a "deep movement" might be.

> In my homepage I have a paper with six hypotheses about how the brain
> comes to think. Why don't you criticize one or more of those
> hypotheses. God knows they could stand some rigourous criticism.

Why don't you deposit some money in my bank account?  God knows it
could use some padding.

<J Q B>

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